Firstly, the sheer fact that I’m on the water means that I’m winning before we even started the first race. Being a sailing administrator, you don’t often get the chance to be on the water, but Brian Kent has taken me under his chicken wing and I’m his trusty crew for the 2017 Flying Fifteen New Zealand Championship.
Walking around the boat park at the Flying Fifteen New Zealand Nationals/Pre-Worlds and when seeing the Boxing Kangaroo it's just sunk in that I'm sailing for New Zealand… wow… emotions are running faster than the tide. ?????? #aussie #boxingkangaroo #australia #newzealand #emotions #emotional #sailing #regatta #racing #boatpark #kangaroo #flyingfifteen #flying15 #letsgosailing
We are racing in the Hawkes Bay, from Napier Sailing Club. The club itself is very cool. Your typical regional club but with all the flare of a big city location. The Clearview Estates wine tasting post racing hooked me pretty hard!
Brian and I have never done a race together before. We had all of 2 hours training before hitting up the Nationals, and I’m just his stand in crew for this event. For the worlds, Brian is sailing with his forever understanding wife, Bridget.
Race 1. We were ready. Pumped. Talking the talk. After a glamour start we were nailing the middle of the course, going against everything that locals had advised us of. And it seemed to pay off. Round Mark 1 in third place we were feeling like we were where we belonged. By the bottom mark, we had slipped back one place to fourth but were comfortable. After a shit mark rounding, stuff going bad at the back of the boat, we pretty much put the brakes on. Perhaps it was just first race nerves, but we lost a load of places and were about 20th around the next top mark. After a few yoga breathing sessions (neither one of us do yoga), we managed to pull back some boats to finish 15th in Race 1. Not entirely where we wanted to be, but still very happy with that result. Hey, we nailed the start, that was a bonus.
Race 2. Holy crap. What a shocker. We basically waited in line to rub the pin end boat after being on the bad end of a shift with about 10 seconds to go. After what we described as being the worst race of our regatta (yes, this is a predication), we somehow managed to get back into around the twenties. We think. But just before Race 3 I had to check what our sail number was, because long and behold, we were down as OSC for Race 2. No freakin way. A request for redress would be lodged.
Race 3. Back on our game. Still not the greatest of starts, but definitely a bit better than Race 2, but not as good as Race 1. This time we hit up the left hand side of the course. “I’m feeling it Brian, it feels good, left is where it’s at” was my advice to the Captain Araldite. Luckily, he concurred. Up the second work we were feeling a little bound up, like a constipated elephant, but Brian started to play with some coloured ropes and eased us up and it was like he a put rocket launcher on the transom. Even Craig on Blowfish noticed that were were fast. It was feeling great, and eventually we crossed the line in 11th. Very happy with that result.
On returning to Napier Sailing Club I was straight to the race office to submit a request for redress. The Jury was great and so were the race committee, after admitting that they were not 100% certain that we were over in Race 2. After a quick deliberation, we were reinstated to a result that I’m still not sure of. But regardless, we are happy.
Ended up hanging out with this lot in the protest room for a bit of a chit chat! Managed to get our OSC overturned for Race 2. We punished ourselves pretty badly in that race! Massive thanks to these guys for an awesome job on the water today. Bring on tomorrow! @napiersailingclub @zhiknz @yachting_new_zealand @boatingnewzealand #protest #protestroom #wewon #badrace #topblokes #sailing #sailors
Racing continues on Thursday 23rd with two races scheduled. We get to sleep in a little bit and plan on getting to the boat at about 0900. The forecast is light, so we are hoping that that is incorrect and that we get a nice sea breeze early in the afternoon.
Massive thanks to Harry and Zhik NZ for hooking me up with some awesome gear. Although my body was struggling, at least I was comfortable in their great range of sailing gear. Do yourself a favour – get into Zhik and sort yourself out with the best sailing gear in the world.
Right. Time for a steak with a side of avocado salad. Then it’s time to hit the sack to get a good night sleep on the sofa bed ready to do it all again tomorrow.